Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



The Applied Physics section comprises three groups that perform basic and applied research to support all three Laboratory Program Directorates and the science and security missions of external sponsors. Our scientists investigate the nature of Dark Energy and Dark Matter, explore the dynamics of ultra-fast photon-matter interactions and perform observations to better understand the composition and distribution of planets and neutron stars. We have deep expertise in visible wavelength optics, X-ray optics, adaptive optics, X-ray photon/matter interactions, space science and astrophysics and large-scale physics-based modeling and simulation. We design, fabricate, characterize and use astrophysical instrumentation for basic science and national security; some of our recent projects include: the Gemini Planet Imager, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and NuSTAR satellites, the Large Synoptic Space Telescope and the NRO's CubeSat−Next Generation Bus program. Our scientists and engineers also create advanced X-ray instruments for the NIF, nuclear non-proliferation, U.S. industry and DOE X-ray light sources.

Associate Division Leader (Acting):   Stefan Hau-Riege

APS Administrator:   Kelly Potter  +1 925-423-9019

Instrumentation Research & Development Group

Group Leader:  Greg Brown

Optical Sciences

Group Leader:  Alex Pertica
Optical Sciences Group (OSG) activities span from astrophysical science research to focused national security programs in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), space situational awareness (SSA) and space protection. The OSG supports programmatic efforts in Z-Program in Global Security, WCI, and NIF, and executes science-based R&D within PLS. Recent OSG projects include the development of X-ray Adaptive Optics systems, the Gemini Planet Imager instrument for the Gemini South Telescope, and optical payloads for nano-satellites. OSG members have also explored the use of survey telescopes for dark matter research, developed algorithms and software tools for simulation of orbital space events, and implemented sensor calibration and exploitation strategies for hyperspectral airborne sensors.

X-Ray Science

Group Leader (Acting):  Marie-Anne Descalle
The X-ray Science and Technology group develops advanced x-ray optics solutions and explores photon-matter interaction processes for basic science investigations and programmatic missions. We are pushing the limits of x-ray optics by utilizing our unique cross-disciplinary expertise in optics design, optimization, and fabrication. For example, we build wave-front-preserving static and actuated beamline optics to transport and focus intense beams fabricated utilizing leading-edge thin-film coatings and multilayers. Further, we develop, field, and interpret novel diagnostics based on reflective x-ray optics for ICF and Stockpile Stewardship, and we explore novel uses of multilayer optics for gamma-ray spectroscopy or thermal-neutron imaging for Nuclear Security applications. Also, we participate in the development of Next generation x-ray telescopes for Astrophysics and Solar Astronomy. Finally, we perform high-intensity x-ray—plasma interaction studies for code validation for Weapons and Complex Integration.